May 27, 2011

Armchair needlework organizer - tutorial

Yesterday I was looking around and saw something I liked on the net and decided to make my own according to my wishes, with some improvements - an armchair needlework organizer. I just hate getting up to get everything I need or playing peek a boo with the scissors!
First of all I measured my favorite armchair to find out the needed size for the needlework organizer. You don't want it to be too big, or you will forever sit down on it. If your armchair is another size than mine, you should change the sizes accordingly.


# 1 - 2 x   35x24 cm  (14"x9 1/2") background
# 2 - 2 x   10x11 cm (4"x4") pin cushion
        2 x   12x24 cm (5 3/4"x9 1/2") pockets

1 keyring or lanyard (thanks beecee!)
8 cm (3 1/2") cotton ribbon for cross stiches
6 cm (2 1/2") velcro. I hope velcro is the correct name; in German it is Klettverschluss, in Swedish kardborreband
some filling


1. First of all I made the upper seam on the pockets (12x24 cm).

2. Then I sewed the velcro to the pincushion. I chose the soft side, in case I later want to use the pincushion somewhere else.

3. Now I made the pincushion in the usual manner. Put the right sides together and make a seam almost all around, leaving a gap where you can turn the inside out.

4. Fill the pincushion with whatever you use for filling and sew the gap together by hand.

5. Make a long ribbon out of one of the fabrics. I cut a 2 cm (1") piece out of the whole width of my pocket fabric, ironed it through the middle and then once again on both sides (just like for binding). Then I sewed the whole lenght and cut pieces as I needed them. 2 pieces for the fastening of the organizer (21-22 cm/8 1/2")), 1 short piece for the key ring (13 cm/5") and the rest for the scissors. You had better decide for yourself how long you need your ribbons. I chose a long one for the scissors because I don't want to bend everytime I'm using the scissors. The keyring is for plastic bobbins, thread holders, can openers or some other items you may need.

6. Sew the keyring and the scissors to the ribbons. Your scissors will never again get lost :-)

7. Now back to the main part. Attach the pockets at both ends of one of the background pieces with needles and arrange the velcro, the cotton ribbon, the keyring and the scissors as you like. The cotton ribbon is used for storing needles, so you should only sew the short end the better access the needles.

  Then sew them, when you are satisfied with the arrangement.

8. Next sew a seam in the middle of the pockets, or you can choose different sizes for the pockets depending on what you plan to put in them. I sewed a couple of times forwards and back to strenghten the seam. Make only the middle seams; the rest will be taken care of later.

9. Next iron some stabilizer to the background fabric and attach one ribbon where you see it fit. I tried to find the optimal place with trial and error. It all depends on the lenght of your ribbons and the contents of your organizer.

10. The second ribbon comes between the right sides of the background fabric, the long side to the middle. Not like I did it! Jackie the (seam)ripper got busy once again.

 10. Sew almost all around, leaving some space open to turn the organizer inside out. At last make a seam all around on the right side to make a nice finish.

Ta dah! Your armchair organizer is ready for a lot of fun.

  The best thing is that you can take it with you where ever you go!

This was my first tutorial! It is so unbelievable I think I'll walk on water next...
My needlework holder is already stuffed with petals and thread for Joseph's coat and I'm in heaven. No need to get up and look for the next suitable petal. A timble, measuring tape and quilt needles have also found their way into the pockets. Why didn't I think about this years ago?
Please leave a comment if you use this tutorial. I'd just love to know; maybe some pictures?

By the way; I've  found the most adorable threadholders.
There are a lot more of them at the same place and I ordered 4, but I can't show them now as they are somewhere else at the moment.



  1. Sewing petals on at the beach yesterday, I was thinking I needed something like this for my thimble, a teeny tiny applique pin cushion and threadcutter so they didn't end up in the sand. I like the idea of the keyrings - maybe I will put them on a lanyard that I can wear around my neck. You are brilliant.

  2. I really like this armchair tidy I am going to make one up to take on holiday with me. Thanks Loving your blog.